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Damned if I do..Damned if I don't..

  • ging35
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11 Aug 07 #1907 by ging35
Topic started by ging35
Hi all,

Well, don't know how to start this, so bear with with me please..

Wife (or STBEx !!) and I together in same house at the moment. Not fun.! House is rented, comes with her job. She is in the forces and main breadwinner,about 32K. I work part time (35 hours) earn about 14 and a half K. We have 2 children 13 and 10. I left full time employment just before youngest was born, to raise the children and be a house-dad. Returned to part work when youngest started school. My work has always been school based. So always fitted around the kids needs.

Marriage has been rocky for a number of years for various reasons, though recently she has a new friend, bloke-much younger... and spends most of her time on the internet in the bedroom. Long story. So, we have decided to separate.

I have said that I will leave. I think it will be easier for the boys, friends, 'home' etc.I'm pretty sure the only reason she is willing to have kids is so she can keep the house. Currently flat hunting locally. Don't want to leave the boys, but I feel that it will be better for them to have some familiarity in their routine. And if I stay... It will create more upset for them. Damned.... either way. Wife could move out, but that would mean the loss of the family house. But apparently there are ways around this. But she is totally unwilling to consider her leaving. Been told in no uncertain terms..

We have some debt. I have said that i will clear cc's (in her name!!) about5k. She doesn't want to sell the car, so has said she will keep it and take on loan. have suggested selling car, but again she is unwilling to discuss the possibility. Loan is in joint names, so pretty sure I could get screwed later on..

She just wants rid of me, wants a Clean Break, but arguments start as soon as I ask to talk about the practical things, visiting the kids, custody, sorting out money, maintenance, benefits..etc mediation sounds good, but the response is liable to 'explicit'.

She said i'll have survive on my wage, which I can do (just)..or get another job. Would I have to? I love my job. A friend mentioned spousal maintenance, something I know little about, Daren't suggest that. But if the roles were reversed..! Anyone got any thoughts.?

Don't want to get solicitors involved. Can't afford it.

Gonna sign off now.

Thanks in advance for reading my 'moan' or advice given.

  • LittleMrMike
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11 Aug 07 #1909 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
Hmmmm, it's a pity you and your s2bx don't seem able to talk. For a start it is much cheaper and a good deal less stressful. The more both of you spend on lawyers, the less there is for you. I know it sounds obvious, but unfortunately people do take inflexible positions in divorce, and ultimately solicitors are the only beneficiaries.

And there is the interests of the children to consider ; you don't really want or need a prolonged squabble about them.
It seems that you have agreed that your wife will retain the former FMH and look after the children. But I have to point out that, if you are a low earner, then claiming housing benefit may be a possibility ( that was probably ' the way round the problem ' that you talked about ). In any event you need to agree arrangements for contact if your wife will be the parent with care.

In any event, I would advise that you have a benefit check from a CAB , given that you will shortly be a single man again. It costs nothing to ask about such things as tax credits, and help with your rent and/or council tax.

You don't say whose name the tenancy is in ; but if the tenancy is in your name ( either on your own account or jointly ) try and get your name off the tenancy agreement, Don't just move out leaving your name still on the rent book. If you do, you may be responsible for future breaches of the tenancy agreement.

As regards spousal maintenance - well, this can work in favour of men, but it doesn't happen all that often, There are arguments both ways. In your favour, your wife earns more than twice as much as you do. There's little doubt that you would have to pay SM if the roles were reversed. Also, there is the fact that you have compromised your earning position to look after the children. In the recent House of Lords case of McFarlane, where Mrs McFarlane had given up her career as a solicitor to look after the kids, she was awarded higher spousal maintenance to reflect that. So what is sauce for Mrs McFarlane's goose ought in theory to be sauce for ging35's gander.

The argument against this would be that, now that you are shortly going to be free of childcare responsibilities, you could take a better paid job which would increase your earnings , thus making SM unnecessary. In general, a recipient of SM is expected to take reasonable steps to augment his/her income.

Try to get your wife to agree to mediation if you can. You don't want a prolonged legal wrangle, take my word for it.

Good luck
Mike 100468

  • divwiki
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12 Aug 07 #1911 by divwiki
Reply from divwiki
I've little to add to MIke's comprehensive answer except that, hopefully, you won't be completely free of childcare responsibilities and you would want to get any agreed stays or regular access in your new home taken into account.

From what you said, it sounds as if your x2b isn't overly maternal and is used to your wage evn if it is lower. If your work means that you can take the kids on school holidays she may well leap at the suggestion rather than dismiss it out of hand. This would have cost implications that need taking into account.

Wish you luck in this minefield; hoping we both end up happier at the end of the process!

  • ging35
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14 Aug 07 #1981 by ging35
Reply from ging35
Thanks for all your comments. They are greatly appreciated.

Regarding responsibilty for the kids. The one thing we agree on is that we both should have an equal responsibilty in raising them. Though, the kids will stay in the FMH, initially. The will spend an equal amount of time with me, when i find a new place. Hopefully sooner, rather than later..! These 'details' have yet to be finalised..

Re: SM. That is another subject yet to be discussed. Thanks for info about 'McFarlane',Mike100468.

Mediation could be the answer. Its gotta better than having another barney..!!

I'm seeing someone at CAB on Friday. So, I should have more information then.

Again, many thanks for comments and views.

  • Sals45
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14 Aug 07 #1985 by Sals45
Reply from Sals45

i am in the same position as you except my husband the serving soldier has left the married quarters.

Some facts for you to ponder.

You seem to have become the childrens main carer, you know all their school routine and presumably have run the home...why is it that you feel that you should not take on full responsibility of the children.

Your Wife is protected all the way if you walk out of that home now you have made yourself homeless and you will have to rent privately.

Now if you stayed and i know how difficult it is..your wife can move into barracks..you keep your job and your childrens routine and you keep your house until she evicts you..this can take up to six months!!. From her actully making that phone call.

You will be evicted and made unintentionally homeless with your children you will effectively be on target to get council housing, which will be cost effective for your income and responsibilites.

Now when this has all happened your wife will then in effect be able to request a service quarter again because she has children who need to visit. she should be able to retain this until the children are non dependants.

You then being the lower wage earner will be able to claim child maintenance from your wife.

Please consider this and ask the army welfare service or whoever is the support for the service your wife is in they will tell you everything....

It is too easy to walk away...it is going to be tough..but you must consider your childrens interests too...how will your wife work with the kids at home...school holidays etc...you have been the main provider of child care and you have a good job...Just because you are the man it does not make you less capable.

So all I can say, picture the scenario with your wife having full care..now look at your own abilities.

Think this through before you leave.

  • sexysadie
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14 Aug 07 #1989 by sexysadie
Reply from sexysadie
I agree. If you really want stability for your children, then you should try and stay in the house as their main carer. If you really think that your wife only wants to take on looking after them in order to keep the house, then that is an additional reason for you to stay with them. Ask her to leave, and keep asking.


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